Ryan Johnson is a pilot of a Falcon 900EX based out of Kansas City. Both he and his Chief Pilot, Andy Gleghorn, have the primary responsibility of providing safe, efficient transportation for a family-owned aircraft. Most flights are to and from seasonal residences in Florida, Missouri, and Colorado, but there are also other flights to some family-favorite vacation destinations, including Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bora Bora, Italy, Greece, and Great Britain.
The Falcon 900EX has the seating capacity to accommodate 15 passengers and with everyone onboard connected with one or multiple devices, the family made the wise decision to go the AVANCE L5 route, which can support up to 40 devices with a limitless data plan. The family often flies with members spanning three generations, and their digital needs vary greatly. The retired couple that owns the aircraft are big college sports fans, so streaming live college sports on Apple TV with two LED screens is important to them. Meanwhile, the grandchildren are busy on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. Even at 40,000 feet and going 600 mph, with the AVANCE L5, they can cheer on their favorite sports team, and the younger generation can follow the trending IG reels, and TikTok their hearts out all at the same time.
One of the big benefits of the AVANCE platform is the Gogo DASH application, which gives visibility and management to all aspects of the Gogo experience.
“With AVANCE, we can utilize the DASH tool to configure roles, show coverage maps, contact support, and monitor bandwidth,” Johnson said. “When the younger generations are onboard, we notice the digital needs increase tremendously. In fact, over the last eight years, I’ve witnessed enhanced connectivity across all generations as the technological innovations evolve.”
Another feature that the family took advantage of was the onboard entertainment provided by Gogo Vision, which comes standard on all AVANCE systems. The family takes several international trips a year, and when they leave the shores of North America, they are limited to GEO satellite internet, which is often very slow and capable of only basic, low- bandwidth uses like email. But with Gogo Vision, they can choose from hundreds of current and classic popular movies, TV shows, and e-magazines – all without using any bandwidth and all available regardless of where in the world the family flies.
The Gogo Vision content Gogo offers is updated over the air and automatically each month via a Cloudport in the hangar. The process is straightforward and efficient, with no one needing to access the aircraft or touch the system.
In the Falcon 900EX, they fly with two pilots, each with an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), typically an iPad and an iPhone. The flight bag services are prioritized by AVANCE to have max speed and performance, so internet usage by the passengers won’t interfere with tools that are vital in the cockpit. Gogo inflight connectivity not only facilitates monitoring weather in real-time, but also flight planning and the coordination of ground services with the FBO such as fuel, rental cars, catering orders, and hotel rooms. Johnson shares, “It’s so much more efficient having the info at your fingertips with ForeFlight, Expect Departure Clearance Time (EDCT), and various flight planning and scheduling apps.”
We can’t imagine flying without inflight Wi-Fi now. We rely on it heavily. It’s pretty amazing.
Flying into Vail, Colorado, can often be tricky. On a recent flight, the visibility was below minimums; thus, Johnson and Gleghorn needed to go into a holding pattern until conditions improved. They used Gogo inflight Wi-Fi to check the runway video cameras and ForeFlight for current weather patterns. The decision was made to land at a nearby airport in the small town of Rifle, Colorado. The second in command (Johnson) took care of filing a new flight plan and then coordinated with ground transportation to drive from Vail to Rifle to pick up the family.
Johnson says, “We also fly in the Midwest a lot and the summer thunderstorms require us to change route quite frequently based on where there’s turbulence and which is the best altitude. Our Gogo inflight connectivity keeps us on the safest route.”
While at cruising altitude on their way to Southwest Florida, Johnson received a text that his high school son’s car had broken down on the way to school and he was stranded on the side of the road. Johnson’s wife didn’t know what to do. Gleghorn took the controls and allowed Johnson to troubleshoot and become his son’s roadside assistance from 40,000 feet. Johnson jokes, “My wife picked up my son and took him to school; meanwhile, I ordered a tow truck to take the car to the dealership. I approved the quote for a new spark plug all with Gogo inflight Wi-Fi. By the time my son was out of school, the car was ready for pick up.”
This year, they will fly approximately 250 hours both in the U.S. and abroad. Johnson is excited to upgrade to 5G in 2024. He is even more interested in Gogo’s Galileo global connectivity option. “Once you leave Gogo’s network and go across the ocean, you really miss it,” explained Johnson. Many business aircraft that fly internationally are also looking forward to harnessing the same fast, reliable inflight connectivity experience anywhere in the world with Gogo Galileo. “As pilots, we have enough to do. We would like to have all our connectivity services under one provider, Gogo.”
To connect to what matters most at the right time whether in the U.S., Canada, or around the world, Gogo and its inflight connectivity solutions are your trusted source. Learn about the Gogo AVANCE platform and find the system that is right for you.